Chances at both ends in lively stalemate
Brentford may well have been bottom of the table going into this game, but it looked a totally false position given their performance against Wolves who had to work hard for the point they took away from Griffin Park.
Nuno’s hopes of naming an unchanged side for a fifth consecutive time in the League were dashed when Barry Douglas failed a fitness test and Ruben Vinagre was named as his replacement.
Wanderers kicked off defending the end of the ground that housed a sell-out visiting support and one of the number had to throw the ball back after Nico Yannaris struck a 20-yard drive over the bar.
Brentford keeper Danny Bentley blocked a low cross from Bright Enobakhare at the expense of a corner taken by Ruben Neves and headed clear by a home defender.
Leo Bonatini saw his long-range effort comfortably taken by Bentley whilst, at the other end, John Ruddy had to be at his best to paw away a fierce shot from Romaine Sawyers.
In the 14th minute it was Sawyer, once more, this time with an angled drive that drifted wide of the far post before Neves’s powerful shot was deflected wide for an unproductive corner when Wolves went forward.
Matt Doherty was adjudged to have fouled Ollie Watkins near the left hand corner of the Wolves box and when Watkins took the free-kick himself, the ball was headed away from the heart of a crowded area.
Diogo Jota played Vinagre through on the overlap and his driven cross was beaten away by Bentley. Then, on the half-hour, Diogo Jota slid a pass through to Bonatini who held off a defender as he ran into the box with Bentley doing well to block the striker’s goal attempt.
Harley Dean was booked after a late challenge on Jota but Romain Saiss’s free-kick was too high to worry Bentley.
The Wolves goal was lucky to survive in the 39th minute as Jota found the time and space in Ruddy’s area to get in a low shot that struck the base of the post before it was cleared.
Doherty’s body check on Watkins earned the defender a yellow card before the half ended with Yoann Barbet prodding the ball behind for a corner after Enobakhare chased down Jota’s short through pass.
Half-Time: Bees 0 Wolves 0
Enobakhare, who had picked up a knock earlier in the game, didn’t reappear after the break with Ivan Cavaleiro taking his place.
Following a Cavaleiro corner, Willy Boly got in a shot that hit a defender. It took the sting out of the ball which was then cleared without difficulty.
Brentford had a good chance in the 53rd minute when Watkins crossed from the left and Sawyers headed the ball back to Neal Maupay who didn’t make a good connection allowing Ruddy to save.
A fine run down the left flank by Vinagre ended with a cross that fell to Diogo Jota but his shot hit Maxime Colin and went behind for a corner.
Diogo Jota was narrowly wide with a low shot on the turn from just outside the area before Brentford made a double change with Florian Jozefzoon and Ryan Woods replacing Jota and Kamohelo Mokotjo respectively.
Cavaleiro was wide with a header from Vinagre’s cross, and then Dean Smith made a final change to his team sending on Andreas Bjelland for Barbet.
A mistake by Bentley gave Bonatini the chance to set up Diogo Jota but the keeper atoned for his lapse by saving as the Wolves man attempted to toe poke the ball into the net.
Just before Nouha Dicko came on for Bonatini, Sawyers wasted a chance for the Bees by blasting the ball over the bar from a good position.
Both sides were going for a winner as the game approached its conclusion and, after Bjelland fired into the side netting as he stretched to reach a deep free-kick, Doherty held his head in anguish when he lifted the ball over the bar after he had run into the box to meet a Dicko cross.
There were good chances at either end in stoppage time. Bjelland managed to head clear when Dicko’s close range header looked destined for the net after Diogo Jota had helped on a cross.
Then a great tackle from Doherty denied Watkins who otherwise would have been clean through. Watkins was then crowded out when he tried to connect with Maupay’s pass.
Brentford were awarded a free-kick 22-yards out and directly in front of goal in the last of the three added minutes. Yennaris’s kick bounced of the defensive wall and Roderick Miranda led a three against one break. But hopes of a last second winner for Wanderers were dashed when Dicko strayed into an offside position.
Bees: Bentley, Colin, Dean, Yennaris (capt), Maupay, Watkins, Mokotjo (Woods 65), Sawyers, Dalsgaard, Jota (Jozefzoon 65), Barbet (Bjelland 72).
Unused subs: Daniels, Egan, Clarke, Canos.
Booking: Dean (37 – foul).
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Vinagre, Coady (capt), Boly, Miranda, Saiss, Enobakhare (Cavaleiro 45), Bonatini (Dicko 79), Neves (Price 85), Jota.
Unused subs: Norris, Bennett, Batth, Ronan.
Booking: Doherty (43 – foul).
Referee: T. Robinson